Jack Gibson gave a very interesting talk on the history of the Marin Municipal Water District at the May First Wednesday Program. MMWD was created in 1912. A significant donation of land on Mount Tamalpais was made by William Kent. In the following years, using authorized powers of eminent domain, MMWD acquired the lands and waterworks of 24 privately owned companies. One of these was the Marin County Water Company which had created Lake Lagunitas in 1872 to supply water to San Rafael and San Quentin. Jack Gibson showed many photos of the construction of the dam for Alpine Lake which was completed in 1919. Michael O’Shaughnessy was the head of the engineering committee. In 1889, he had found a source of water, built Cascade dam for the Tamalpais Land & Water Company and surveyed Eastland and Millwood which became Mill Valley. Of particular interest were photos taken before and after construction of the dams that created the MMWD lakes on Mount Tamalpais. [click first slide for slideshow]
Doug Ferguson gave a very interesting talk and showed a short film on the history of Marincello at the April First Wednesday Program. As he was one of the lawyers involved from the very beginning in fighting the development project, he had first hand information about the battle. What a story. A city of over 20,000 people on 2100 acres near the Golden Gate came close to becoming a reality. The project had been approved by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Thanks to the efforts of lawyers working pro bono, many other volunteers and the public at large in the late sixties and early seventies, Nature Conservancy finally succeeded in purchasing the land from the backers of the development. It is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. There was standing room only at the talk.
Historian Richard Torney was the speaker at the March First Wednesday program. The subject was the history of Kentfield and Greenbrae. His large collection of photographs, some over a hundred years old, told the story. He was particularly clever at relating each scene to familiar present day landmarks, e.g., the College of Marin, or the Bon Air shopping center. During the Q & A period, old timers in the audience who had grown up in the area added their own information on specific buildings and people that Richard had mentioned. Richard has appeared numerous times at First Wednesday programs, often speaking on the history of railroads in Marin.
Bob Flasher was the speaker at the February First Wednesday program. The subject was Druid Heights, an “unintentional community” near Muir Woods. The standing room only audience was fascinated to learn about the “beatnik” enclave which was in full swing … Continue reading →
The Mill Valley Historical Society takes pride in its tradition of hosting the First Wednesday meetings. Originally these were 1st THURSDAY meetings, but about 10 years ago for reasons long forgotten, they are now known as the 1st Wednesday. Each FIRST Wednesday of the Month, from February to June, the MVHS invites a guest who has knowledge of a historic theme that has a connection to Mill Valley or Southern Marin. Occasionally we will also welcome entertaining guests who will talk of a historical event about other parts of Marin, or even San Francisco. These evenings are popular and ofen attract audiences that fill the Creekside room of the Mill Valley Library. If you are a MVHS member you will receive monthly mailings informing you of the upcoming speakers, as well as receiving the monthly electronic newsletter. (Keep us updated with your
current email address).
2013 Guest Speakers
February 6, 2013 Guest Speaker – Bob Flasher
Former Community Programs Manager Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy Beat Poets, Drugs and Zen at Druid Heights
March 6, 2013 Guest Speaker – Richard Torney
Railroad & Marin Historian History of Greenbrae & Kentfield
April 3, 2013 Guest Speaker – Doug Ferguson
Attorney – Former counsel to the Nature Conservancy “Marincello – The Grand City that Never Was”
May 1, 2013 Guest Speaker — Jack Gibson Director, Marin Municipal Water District History of the Water District
June 5, 2013 Guest Speaker – Barry Spitz
Marin & Dipsea Race Historian Dipsea Race – History and Lore of the Greatest Race